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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

Won Exit

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, October 24, 2017.
About this Poem 
“‘Won Exit’ came to me verbatim in sleep, and I groggily typed and lineated it at 4 a.m. on my phone. After a placental abruption kept me bedridden for nearly my whole pregnancy, life still feels like a series of nearly impossible entrances and exits. I think this poem arises from that experience, as well as from the species-deep urgency I feel after communicating with my infant son all day: to invent language, to learn to speak again.”
—Elizabeth Metzger
 

Won Exit

In one or two lives 
I opened the door with the prize
only to find the prize was not worth the life.
 
I wanted the door.
 
Brave mahogany door, you be my fortune.
Teach me to understand the jungle cry 
in your grain, the suffering circles 
 
by which your tree wisdom is known.
 
I was superior with handles,
gentle with thresholds. Then, this.
 
Choices at morning hours I usually skip
but there is a little cash flow of beauty
where there is almost no more water.
 
And there is not room and light enough
to stand behind the second 
and listen anymore—
 
I am going through the language of me now.
 
I am flipping open the dictionary of myself
with my tongue, as if that were possible,
to find your first word. 
 
In the torture of a foyer 
doorless for entering, I am entering none.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Metzger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Metzger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

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